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Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys Doesn’t Care About Getting Old

The fact that Brian Wilson is still touring and making music is a fantastic feat. In his life, Wilson has experienced the great highs that come with being a celebrated and admired musician, all the while battling near-crippling mental health and substance abuse issues.

Wilson’s The Beach Boys (a band in which he has no plans on reuniting with again), served as his introduction to the world as a beautiful singer, genius songwriter and an in-studio perfectionist. “Pet Sounds,” released in 1966, remains viewed as not just The Beach Boys’ best album, but one of the greatest albums ever recorded by anyone, period.

At the age of 75, Wilson is currently on the road celebrating 50+ years of “Pet Sounds.” Considering his sometimes hot, often times cold, relationship with touring, it’s incredible to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee revisiting his masterwork.

“I thought I was gonna hang it up. But then I changed my mind. I said, ‘What am I gonna do? Sit around and watch TV? No way!’ Nothing was really happening back in L.A., so I figured I might as well go on tour,” commented Wilson in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. “I just said, ‘I might as well get off my [butt] and tour.’ So I got off my [butt] and toured.”

As for touring at his age, Wilson (who was 74, and a month away from turning 75 when we spoke with Rolling Stone) explained that while he’s not entirely happy about growing older, performing keeps him feeling young.

“I’m old! I’m an old man, and I have to think to myself, ‘What am I gonna do about this?’ Nothing you can do about getting old. When I look in the mirror, I don’t like what I see,” admitted Wilson. “But…I think about it, and I think about Paul [McCartney] touring, Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] touring…so are [fellow Beach Boys] Mike [Love] and Bruce [Johnston].

“You know, I’m getting older but I don’t [care],” he added. “I can still sing. I’m only 74, which is a [weird] age, but I don’t mind it. When I’m onstage, I ain’t 74. I sound like a 30-year-old! That feels good. I get a little break from being 74. I look old, but I sing young. Who would have thought? I’ll tell you who: nobody.”

These days, Wilson – who said he doesn’t get emotionally “too high or low” anymore – remains motivated to do well in life. In fact, he’s aware of just how important it is to keep his “mind muscle” flexed.

“To succeed in life, you have to put a little muscle into it – mind muscle,” offered Wilson. “Not sure where that comes from, but I’ve got it. I’m success-oriented. You have to program yourself to be successful.”

-Adam Grant

Brian Wilson’s 2017 Pet Sounds World Tour ramps up again on September 15 in Moncton, followed by dates in Halifax, Kitchener and various spots in America. 

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